MAKE THE EFFORT COUNT!
Families who home educate have been making lasting friendships through sport. We are looking to help connect homeschoolers to sports opportunities. Place info about your sport involvement for others to join by contacting: [email protected] or write us with your interest in finding a connection for your athlete.
On this page you will find three kinds of information:
- Public access sports opportunities where MACHS members are enrolled at some level.
- Privately organized homeschool focused sports events. These will be either accepting new players or full to capacity.
- Stories of how a sports opportunity was started and how your group could succeed too.
We have in mind both team/group or individual sports and related events, even places that members of your family hold a season pass or membership would be welcome information.
There are several organized soccer programs in areas of Winnipeg open to homeschoolers only. This one run by Esther, is looking for a new leader to volunteer. We encourage you to keep this opportunity flourishing.
How the event got started
I wasn’t part of the founding group, but we played for a several years before I “inherited” the group from its founder Alison. Basically she said, “Here’s the email list, the community club contact, and feel free to use my equipment.” And I was on my own. My first few years, I ran it for free, but started charging a nominal amount per family. Two years ago things soured with the community club and I was forced to find a new location with less than a month until the season was to start. With four days to go, the Lord provided another field about a mile away. This little park has just the right number of netted fields for our group, washrooms that are available without crossing a street, and a playground with shaded picnic tables right there for the moms with little ones not yet ready to play. 🙂 I had been considering renting fields through Winnipeg Parks & Rec which would have necessitated a significant increase in price. The soccer club was more than happy to take some field rental money. This blessing in disguise actually gave me capital to work with in order to replace some equipment that was wearing out, as well as buy more pinnies and balls to become less dependent on borrowed equipment. On our first day playing there, the entire board of directors was at the clubhouse and I had the incredible opportunity to extol the virtues and benefits of home education. They were utterly gobsmacked that there were so many kids out on the field on a Monday afternoon! We are so blessed to work with a board who want their fields to be used as much as possible for the beautiful game.
How it runs
Age range: 5-17 years old. Typically, the little ones (5&6 year olds) only “work” for an hour and then are released to cavort on the play structure. Also typically, the older kids self-organize and scrimmage on their own.Last year I experimented with online registration with using Google Forms and Google Sheets. That was a steep learning curve, but definitely worth it. This year, I’ve modified, streamlined and automated the back end, proving that being a life long learner is a beneficial skill for all to possess. (Also to make life easier for my successor).
My google sheet sorts the registrations into age groups and make lists of players for each of my coaches. I keep a master list handy when I’m at the field.
On the first day, I and my two helpers madly check off participants and collect fees before we gather at the play structure for a welcome speech and prayer. I introduce the coaches and release the groups from oldest to youngest. Stragglers are pointed toward their proper fields and the moms on the sidelines start gabbing. It’s always neat to see how much everyone has grown over the winter!
Coaches Our coaches are all volunteer parents. I found some coaching resources online a bunch of years ago and make that available to anyone interested. It is basically step by step lesson plans for soccer practice! Coaching staff is the initial limiting factor in how many children can play. The literature says that at 5-6 years old, 4v4 on a quarter field is best for skill development and potential for touching the ball. Realistically, I never have enough parents with the experience or willingness to be the face of that coach. So, we increase the field to half size and also increase the roster. I’d love to have enough coaches to have a group of 13-14 year olds to provide play space for those who haven’t yet sprouted or just aren’t ready to play with the “big kids.”
Equipment As you can imagine, 40+ soccer balls occupy a fair chunk of real estate. During the season, the coach or assistant of each group is responsible for lugging the stuff for their team back and forth to the field. In the off season, an out of town family hangs it from the rafters of an out building.
Treats For a bunch of years a few coaches provided freezies for the kids on the last day. One year I decided to pick some up at an end of summer sale for 70% off. I over wintered enough to have freezies on 4 of 7 weeks. The job of freezing them gets shared out. A couple of scissor-wielding moms dole them out of coolers to sweaty kids at the end of play. Yes, I sugar-up the kids and send them home. It’s hot and they play hard. We always leave the field cleaner than when we arrive and the club is happy to have us.
Time and Cost
We play on Monday afternoons 1:30 – 3:00 pm for the months of May and June, excepting Victoria Day.
I charge $10 per child with a family cap of $40. As an incentive, each coach and assistant get to have one child play for free.
While I am open to new families (indeed, there is a certain amount of turn over every year), returning families have priority in registration up to about ten days before we start.
What makes it succeed
Prayer. People. Patience. Attention to detail. Letting go of my vision of “perfect”. Discerning which issues are and are not critical -most aren’t.
MACHS HOMESCHOOL FIELD DAY:
Two days of track and field, team sports, camping and fellowship. All ages, nominal fee. August 10-11, 2019. Contact the Lawrensons at: mb[email protected]
In the fall and winter Rob McLeod and several other parents host “homeschool hockey” on Monday afternoons at the Seven Oaks Arena in Garden City. Over the past four years or so, this has been an almost weekly event during the months of September through April. Homeschool hockey provides an opportunity for homeschooled children to have physical activity while improving their hockey skills in an atmosphere that encourages friendly competition. Participation levels have been strong due to the commitment of parents to consistently attend. At present the program is at maximum capacity but if strong growth is envisioned there is a possibility that we could expand the program with an additional ice time slot on Monday afternoons. Alternatively, perhaps other parents in other parts of Winnipeg or elsewhere, could self-organize a convenient time and location for themselves. Currently the cost is $6 per week per child with some basic hockey equipment being required. Typically we receive one hour of ice team per week but on occasional Mondays there is “bonus time”. Children are assigned to a “line” based upon their age and ability. We have found that the children really enjoy this time together. More info can be obtained by emailing me at [email protected].
Hit The Ice Hockey
Public access hockey with parents as coaches. One hour each Saturday per age level 5-18. Located in Sanford arena. Information at: http://mhrd.ca
VOLLEYBALL AND BASKETBALL
D&G Archery Ltd, Giroux, MB
(204) 326-6247 familyarchery.org/